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28 Oct 2002 : Column 644W—continued

Victim Impact Statements

Ms Coffey: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions he has had with the Lord Chancellor's Department about victim impact statements. [75340]

Hilary Benn: The Lord Chancellor's Department (LCD) was closely involved in developing the new Victim Personal Statement Scheme, which was introduced in October 2001. Since then, the LCD has been represented on the Home Office led working group, which is overseeing the evaluation for the scheme.

Violent Crime

Tim Loughton: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many children have died from violence in each of the last five years. [75553]

Hilary Benn [holding answer 21 October 2002]: Homicide statistics are published annually in Chapter 4 of X'Criminal Statistics England and Wales'. Data are published on a calendar year basis up to 1997 and a financial year basis from 1997–98. The latest statistics relating to 2000–01 were published in December 2001 in XCriminal Statistics England and Wales 2000". Table 4.6 gives currently recorded homicides by age and gender of victim.

Homicides of children under 16 years are given in the following table.

Age of victim
Under one yearOne and under five yearsFive and under 16 years


Data as at 3 October 2001; figures are subject to revision as cases are dealt with by the police and by the courts or as further information becomes available.

Workers from Eire

Mr. Heathcoat-Amory: To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what restrictions there are on the entry into the UK of workers from Eire who have been accepted by that country from EU candidate countries. [75904]

Beverley Hughes: Workers from EU candidate States seeking entry to the United Kingdom (UK) through the Common Travel Area remain subject to immigration control. A work permit, and where appropriate a visa, would be required if they sought leave to enter the UK to work.

28 Oct 2002 : Column 645W


Benefits Offices

Mr. Burstow: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what percentage of those employed in benefits offices were over 55 years old in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement. [74313]

Mr McCartney: Information on the percentage of staff employed in benefits offices who were over 55 years old at 30 April in each of the last five years is in the following table.

DatePercentage of staff over 55
April 20028.1
April 20016.9
April 20005.9
April 19995.3
April 19985.4


2002 figures include staff from the former Employment Service because of the creation of Jobcentre Plus

Child Maintenance

Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, pursuant to his answer of 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 635W, on child maintenance, for what reason the figure given was on a different basis to his Department's PSA target; and if he will make a statement. [77784]

Malcolm Wicks: The figures are consistent with one another.

The figures given in the answer of 15 October 2002, Official Report, column 635W, on child support maintenance, are based on aggregates of:

The Department's Public Services Agreement target refers only to clients who are in receipt of Income Support.

Departmental Job Vacancies

Mr. McNamara: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many job vacancies there were at (a) administrative assistant or equivalent, (b) administrative officer or equivalent, (c) administrative executive officer, (d) higher executive officer, (e) senior executive officer, (f) grade 7 principal and (g) positions above grade 7 level in his Department for jobs located in (i) London and (ii) the South East between 1April 2001 and 31 March; and what is the total employment for each civil service grade. [76559]

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Malcolm Wicks: The information on job vacancies is not held centrally and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. The information on the total numbers of people employed for each Civil Service grade is in the table.

Total number of people employed for each Civil Service grade

London South East
Grade 6898488
Grade 72872792222


1. Figures are point in time as at 31 March 2002.

2. Figures are shown as headcount totals (Staff In Post) and whole-time equivalent totals (WTE).

Disability Living Allowance

Mr. MacDougall: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what the basis is of his policy on payment to people who become disabled over the age of 65 years of the mobility component attached to disability benefits; [76031]

Maria Eagle [holding answer 21 October 2002]: Disability living allowance and attendance allowance are designed to provide a contribution towards the extra costs associated with severe disability. The benefits are assessed by looking at the disabled person's care needs and, in the case of disability living allowance, mobility needs.

Disability living allowance was introduced in 1992 by bringing together the separate attendance and mobility allowances into a single benefit, which gave additional help to severely disabled people under age 65 for whom disability is more financially disruptive in terms of lost opportunity to earn and save.

The vast majority of people can expect to have some restrictions as they get older and it is reasonable to expect people to make provision for this. Attendance allowance continues to be available for severely disabled people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care.

Disability living allowance unified and simplified the six months qualifying test inherited from attendance allowance and the 12-month prospective qualifying test inherited from mobility allowance by providing that a severely disabled person must have satisfied the entitlement conditions throughout the past three months and be likely to continue to satisfy them throughout the next six months.

Attendance allowance retains a six month qualifying period because a prospective test is less likely to be relevant to the disabilities—often degenerative—suffered by older people.

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The Government believe that this broad framework is fair and sensible, and in particular that it is right to give the most help to those who are severely disabled early in life and who may face limited opportunities to work and save.

Mr. Simon Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make it his policy to allow recipients of disability living allowance to receive these benefits in another European Union country. [76268]

Maria Eagle: Disability living allowance is a non-contributory benefit designed to complement the substantial range of other help available to severely disabled people in the United Kingdom. It has always been Government policy, therefore, that it should be available only to people who normally reside here.

Disability living allowance is listed as a 'special non-contributory' benefit in EEC Regulation 1408/71. Such benefits are granted exclusively in the member state in which a person resides. People covered by the regulation can access any special non-contributory benefits, which are available in their country of residence.

European Year of Disabled People

Mr. Boswell: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions if he will make a statement on the official British contribution to mark the forthcoming European Year of Disabled People. [76819]

Maria Eagle: The Government is contributing #1 million to fund the UK programme of activity to support the European Year of Disabled People.

We have agreed an overall plan for the European Year, including a theme, XPromote Rights and Participation", funding, and a competitive bidding process for projects at local, regional and national level.

Launch events are being planned for England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. These will be held in January 03.

We expect to announce the successful projects before the end of this year.

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